Ubuntu 12.04 vs NoMachine NX

The latest release of Ubuntu (12.04) doesn’t play well with NoMachines’s NX. This is a shame because NX provides a secure remote access function to X window clients with comparable performance to Microsoft’s excellent RDP protocol. The cause of the problem is the way the default 12.04 Unity interface works behind the scenes.  This can be overcome by ensuring that the NX client connects to a Gnome desktop.

Assuming you have Gnome installed, the most reliable method I have found is to edit /usr/NX/etc/node.conf and replace

CommandStartGnome = "/etc/X11/Xsession gnome-session"

with

CommandStartGnome = "/usr/bin/gnome-session --session=gnome-classic"

The NX node can also be used to connect securely to other machines inside your network running either Linux or Windows with various protocols including NX, RDP and VNC (RFB).

In other words you can connect to a Windows machine on your LAN with RDP via your NX node using the NX client over SSH. Or at least you could under Ubuntu 10.04. The default NX installation on 12.04 will connect, and then return the error “RDP client not found”.

The solution is very straightforward.

The NX node calls a locally (to the node) installed X window RDP client to make the connection to the target machine. The client is configured in /usr/NX/etc/node.conf, and by default this is Rdesktop. In Ubuntu 12.04, Rdesktop has been replaced by the excellent Remmina client. Hence the error “RDP client not found”.

There is the option to get Remmina working as the configured client, but I prefer the simple and tested approach;

apt-get install rdesktop

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